The snails aren’t doing squat. I bought them a week ago to eat the algae from the walls of the frog’s tank, and if they’re eating any, it sure doesn’t show. I considered algae eaters (the fish variety, with the suction-cup mouth), but they required a heater. These frogs, who spend their entire lives (20 years or more) in water, and room-temperature water suits them just fine, thank you. Besides, I’m pretty sure these dudes would eat the fish, carnivores that they are. Just seems like an expensive meal.
Anyway, I’m disappointed in the snails’ cleaning abilities. I know, I could just clean the tank, but that’s a last resort. I loathe tank cleaning, probably because by the time I do it, conditions are pretty poor in there. Hmm. There’s a message in that.
Their tank (like the shower, the boys’ bathtub, and much of the basement) really needs intervention. And the snails aren’t doing it. They’re also not repairing the closet door, adjusting the dryer door, replacing the kitchen faucet aerator, or a dozen other jobs need doing around here. None of those jobs are that big, or at least they wouldn’t seem so if they were attended to promptly, but together, they overwhelm me (and, apparently, the snails).
I’m the only adult in an 70-something-year-old house that my boys and I actively live in 24/7. The boys generally help when asked. They vacuum, shovel, rake, sweep, and more, but I’m careful about how much my divorce places on their small shoulders. Maintaining this house isn’t their job. Some days I want to holler that it’s not all my job either as I yearn for a time when I shared this responsibility with another adult. But it’s all mine now. And, sometime, that reduces me to tears and despair. I bend down to pick up (yet another) cat toy only to notice the peeling paint on a baseboard. I check on my younger, still in the tub, and step in the growing puddle indicating that the leaky toilet has yet to repair itself. I could go on, but it discourages me.
Basically, the place is in good shape. It’s fairly clean (don’t look at my shower), largely well-maintained, and apparently free of plague-causing pestilence. Company tends to return for a second visit, and I take that as a good sign. So I’ll take it easy on the snails. It’s a big tank for five little creatures to clean, and the algae had quite the head start. Perhaps I can extend myself the same consideration.